premature articulations disjecta:
Wow! Last night's Wild/Sharks game was certainly worth staying up late (and even ending a sentence with a preposition) for. How can anyone not love a game with two Gaborik power play goals, a possible win turned into tie, then turned into certain loss, then turned back into a huge point for the good guys -- all with a dandy can O'Boogaard thrown in for good measure?
dangling subatomic participles:
Top Quark of the night goes to Derek Boogaard for his entertaining battle with Jody Shelley, who found out the hard way that Boogey's left hand is almost as good as his right when it comes to performing facial makeovers. Up Quarks go to Marian Gaborik for his two PPGs, both of them on rocket shots. Todd Fedoruk gets an Up Quark for yet another fine game of screen-setting work in front of the net. If we could only get Boogey and Chris Simon to set 'em up like Fedoruk and Mark Parrish do, our goal scorers would start having field days whizzing pucks by goalies with no idea where the biscuit is going. Like I've said in previous posts, the Wild have good success whenever they use this style of play, but they keep dabbling in and out of it like they're content to settle for snacks when they could just as easily be feasting.
Gabby also gets a Down Quark for not finishing breakaway chances in the first period and in the shootout, though I liked his decision to take that patented snap shot of his on the first break; Evgeni Nabokov gets an Up Quark for making a superb pad save on that one. After collecting a string of Up Quarks, Martin Skoula gets a Down Quark for last night's performance. It was his misfortune more than his fault to step on an opponent's stick and leave Sean Hill hung out to dry on the first Sharks tally, but that classic Laurel and Hardy stumble won't exactly get the fans standing in line for #41 jerseys. Skoula didn't do the Wild any favors with his positioning (or lack thereof) on the second Sharks tally, either: all in all, a forgettable game where he decided to play like his old self again.
Another Down Quark goes to Jacques Lemaire for not experimenting with Josh Harding (a.k.a. the shootout king) and also for picking a bad time to test the "Law of Averages" by going with Mr. Onefortwelveinshootouts Gaborik. Come to think of it, this would also qualify J-L for a Strange Quark. Another Strange Quark goes to the Zamboni, for having what looks more like a Tiger Shark caudal fin instead of a Great White Shark dorsal fin on it. Who's the carcharadonderthal who came up with that daffy thing, for carcharais sake? Brent Burns gets the Charmed Quark for his godawful impression of Pavol Demitra in the shootout (that somehow actually worked). I never was a big fan of the far side circle move in shootouts; it strikes me as a move that just gives the goalie one less angle to worry about -- if a shooter wants to open up the five hole, he can do it with other moves that don't leave him short sided when it's time to pull the trigger.
The Bottom Quark goes to Sean Hill for an old Skoula-like performance. Hill played a few inspired and physical games after his suspension ended earlier this season, but has been largely ineffective ever since. Someone should sneak him some cream and clear (complete with Original Whizzinator) for the stretch drive. Even if he gets caught and gets suspended again, it wouldn't be all that big of a loss.
post dramatic syn(thetic) drones:
Bottom line, that was a monster point to get in the standings last night. Having a three point head start for the final stretch drive -- while the chasers either play against the Wild, or against each other -- is huge. As the standings are right now, the Wild hold the tiebreaker over everyone else in the division, so even if they do no better than split their last four series, the rest of the division will have six non-Wild games to make up two full games in order to overtake them. If the Wild do better than .500 in the final furlong, it's sayonara time and fuhgedaboudit! One can almost hear the collective sphincters of the Avalanche, Canucks, Flames and Oilers tightening to the max.
That's enough for today. If my future-ex-wife-to-be is reading this: man created booze, but God created weed: whom do you trust more? For the rest of you, thanx for tuning in, and remember: if it ain't broken, you're not trying hard enough. GO WILD!!!
Best wishes to Kurtis Foster for a full and speedy recovery.